The murders that made us How vigilantes, hoodlums, mob bosses, serial killers, and cult leaders built the San Francisco Bay Area

Bob Calhoun

eBook - 2021

The 170-year history of the San Francisco Bay Area told through its crimes and how they intertwine with the city's art, music, and politics In The Murders That Made Us, the story of the San Francisco Bay Area unfolds through its most violent and depraved acts. From the city's earliest days, where vigilantes hung perps from buildings and newspaper publishers shot it out on Market Street, to the kidnapping of Patty Hearst and the Zodiac Killer, crime has made the people of San Francisco ...who they are. Murder and mayhem are intertwined with the city's art, music, and politics. The Great 1906 Earthquake that burned down the old Barbary Coast shook a city that was already teetering on the brink of a massive prostitution scandal. The Summer of Love ended with a pair of ghastly acid dealer slayings that made the Haight too violent for even Charles Manson. The '70s ground to a halt with San Francisco pastor Jim Jones forcing his followers to drink cyanide-laced punch in Guyana, and the assassination of gay icon Harvey Milk. With each tale of true crime, The Murders That Made Us will take you from the violence that began in the original Gold Rush into the brutal displacement of today's techie ruination. In The Murders That Made Us, bestselling author Bob Calhoun tells the story of San Francisco one crime at a time through the destination city's most violent and depraved acts. Bob Calhoun is a San Francisco Bay Area author, journalist, and former wrestler and peepshow emcee. Since 2015, he has recounted his city's most gruesome and lurid events in his regular SF Weekly column, Yesterday's Crimes. His punk wrestling memoir, Beer, Blood & Cornmeal (ECW Press), was a national bestseller. Satan Saves Zodiac Robert Salem designed fashionable lamps out of his converted firehouse at 745 Stevenson Street near San Francisco's Civic Center. His hurricane-style light fixtures were sold in specialty shops throughout the world and a few of his designs were even displayed in museums as high art. Salem had friends who worked at the nearby Franciscan Hotel, and he told them they could stop by his place anytime. The hotel workers grew worried when they hadn't seen the middle-aged artist in several days, so they went to Salem's live-work space on Sunday, on April 19, 1970 to make sure he was okay. They noticed a rank odor coming from his apartment, so they broke down the door. Trails of dried blood led throughout what the Chronicle described as "an expensively-decorated hippie-style pad" with Japanese tatami mats on the floors and tree branches climbing up the walls. They found Salem's mutilated body on one of mats. He had been stabbed several times with a very sharp knife, and his throat cut from ear-to-ear in a botched attempt at decapitation. Frustrated from not being able to sever the head from the body, the killer cut off Salem's ear and took it with him. Investigators never found the ear. Before the killer left the apartment, he took a shower to wash off the blood, and cranked the heater up to 90° to exacerbate the putrescence. On the wall of the flat, he scrawled the words "Satan saves Zodiac" in his victim's blood with "a weird cross-like design" next to it that turned out to be an Egyptian ankh. Homicide Inspector Gus Coreris was hesitant to say that Salem's murder was the work of the Zodiac Killer, who had been terrorizing the greater Bay Area since gunning down Betty Lou Jensen and David Faraday in Benicia on Dec. 20, 1968.

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Published
[United States] : ECW Press 2021.
Language
English
Physical Description
1 online resource
Format
Mode of access: World Wide Web.
ISBN
9781773056845
1773056840
Access
AVAILABLE FOR USE ONLY BY IOWA CITY AND RESIDENTS OF THE CONTRACTING GOVERNMENTS OF JOHNSON COUNTY, UNIVERSITY HEIGHTS, HILLS, AND LONE TREE (IA).
Main Author
Bob Calhoun (author)
Corporate Author
hoopla digital (-)
Review by Publisher Summary 1

The 170-year history of the San Francisco Bay Area told through its crimes and how they intertwine with the city’s art, music, and politicsIn The Murders That Made Us, the story of the San Francisco Bay Area unfolds through its most violent and depraved acts. From its earliest days when vigilantes hung perps from downtown buildings to the Zodiac Killer and the kidnapping of Patty Hearst, murder and mayhem have shaped the city into the political and economic force that she is today.The Great 1906 Earthquake shook a city that was already teetering on the brink of a massive prostitution scandal. The Summer of Love ended with a pair of ghastly drug dealer slayings that sent Charles Manson packing for Los Angeles. The 1970s come crashing down with the double tragedy of Jonestown and the assassination of Gay icon Harvey Milk by an ex-cop. And the 21st Century rise of California Governor Gavin Newsom, Trump insider Kimberly Guilfoyle, and Vice President Kamala Harris is told through a brutal dog-mauling case and the absurdity called Fajitagate. It’s a 170-year saga of madness, corruption, and death revealed here one crime at a time.

Review by Publisher Summary 2

In The Murders That Made Us, bestselling author Bob Calhoun tells the story of San Francisco one crime at a time through the destination city’s most violent and depraved acts.